Mental Health, Suicide Risk, and Suicide Prevention

Compilation from National Institute of Mental Health, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and Florida Department of Health

Excerpt from suicide versus homicide statistic chart

Here’s a staggering statistic: suicide counts were higher than homicides in 62 of Florida’s 67 counties in 2016. Ninety-three percent of the state experienced more suicides than homicides. Look at the numbers for your county here. The number of Florida suicides is more than double the number of homicides and unfortunately that same trend is seen nationwide. Suicides remain twice as common as homicides in the United States.

When looking at the number of suicides two questions prevail: why and what can be done? There are no easy answers, but researchers are studying and trying to answer both those questions.

Social Media may be partly to blame. Teens and young adults using Social Media are experiencing more depression than ten years ago.

study published on  March 14, 2019 in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology finds the percentage of U.S. teens and young adults reporting mental distress, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions has risen significantly over the past decade. While these problems also increased among adults 26 and older, the increase was not nearly as large as among younger people.

Another study is looking at a possible venue for intervention and prevention of suicides: an NIH study shows many preteens screen positive for suicide risk during ER visits.

A research team found nearly one-third of youth ages 10 to 12 years screened positive for suicide risk in emergency department settings. As part of a larger study on youth suicide risk screening in emergency departments, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, and collaborators sought to explore how frequently preteen youth ages 10 to 12 screened positive for suicide risk. Notably, 7 percent of the preteens who screened positive for suicide risk were seeking help for physical – not psychiatric – concerns.